From an editorial in Thursdays (Greensboro) News & Record:
World War II costs the United States $5 billion a year now, in 2013, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
How is that possible, more than 68 years after the surrenders of Germany and Japan?
Veterans benefits. The men and women who served our country in that horrendous conflict earned medical care and other benefits, and it is the continuing responsibility of younger generations of American taxpayers to provide them.
Yet, a powerful North Carolina state senator, Bob Rucho, tweeted this Sunday: Justice Roberts pen & Obamacare has done more damage to the USA then the swords of the Nazis, Soviets & terrorists combined.
When that drew criticism, even outrage, the Mecklenburg County Republican dug in deeper in later interviews: What I stand on is the truth. The bottom line is I still believe fully that the negative impact on the finances of North Carolina and its people is going to be significantly impacted even in comparison to any of those wars that occurred.
Those who disagree with his view, he added, are the people that are the socialist elite that want to make people dependent on government ...
Ruchos rant cant disguise his incredible lack of historical perspective. World War II cost this country $4.1 trillion in 2011 dollars, the Congressional Research Service calculated then.
That was just to fight and win the war. It did not count the costs of rebuilding Europe and much of East Asia and the Western Pacific or, as noted in the $5 billion-a-year figure above, the continuing cost of veterans benefits.
The human costs of losing more than 400,000 military personnel arent included, either. Nor is the lost potential income those dead soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen represented: the heroes who didnt come home to raise their children or to care for their aging parents.
In addition to belittling the impact that World War II had on our Greatest Generation, Rucho also minimizes the costs of waging the Cold War against the Soviet Union which included the nuclear arms race and hot wars in Korea ($341 billion, according to the CRS) and Vietnam ($738 billion). And, for good measure, lets add the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which led to the ongoing war in Afghanistan, continuing operations against al-Qaida and beefed-up security across the country and around the world.
Ruchos notion that Obamacare is more expensive to Americans than all that is nonsense. Worse, its dangerous nonsense because it illustrates the irrational depth of hatred toward the health care law held, not only by Rucho, but by others of like attitude. He is an influential member of his Republican majority in the state Senate. His assessment of Obamacare that it will have a greater negative impact on our country than World War II, the Soviet Union and terrorism informed his decision to deny qualified North Carolina residents expanded access to health care under Medicaid and to bar North Carolina from operating health care exchanges.
So its important to know how leaders like Rucho think and on what basis theyve made important decisions for the people of North Carolina. It is ill-informed, distorted thinking. Can someone who so profoundly misunderstands the past be trusted to lead this state into the future?
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